So way back in September of 2014 I decided I was going to enter the Marathon des Sables and this was going to be my way of launching, Tough Girl Challenges in 2015.
After my Doctor told me in no uncertain terms that I was not healthy enough to do this race and him signing me off ill. I had no other option but to postpone the race until April 2016.
After a long 2015, rebuilding my health and fitness I now have about 4 months to go before I’ll be out in the heart of the Sahara desert with my backpack on running 6 marathons in 6 days!!
Part of me is totally pumped and I just want to go out there and smash it.
Another part of me is worried, worried my training will put me in the ground again and I won’t be fit enough to even reach the start line.
I’m frightened of really pushing myself too hard in case I do injury or damage myself. It’s a really difficult place for me to in. As I do believe in mind over matter, positive mental attitude, giving it my all, just going for it, doing the best I can do, and pushing myself hard.
But now there’s a part of me which wants to hold back, to not give quite my all, and just hold a little something back and I don’t know which is right or which is wrong. I don’t know if I’m fully back up to good heath or if one training session could send me right back to where I started.
I do feel fit…. I do feel strong.
I’m the strongest I’ve ever been (100kg Deadlift), I’ve got the lowest body fat ever (14%) and loads more muscle mass. But I’m just so overly worried about losing it and not being able to compete. I know its stopping me training to the best of my ability as I never go full on out.
I know I need to get over this and the way for me to do that is to be really specific with my goals for the MDS.
So here they are!
Stick to my training plans - I have a separate weight training and running plan.
Listen to my body - if I need to rest - REST
Consume enough food, be excellent on nutrition - give my body the time to recover and the fuel it needs to recover
Keep hydrated, drink water while training
Keep a positive frame of mind
Picture myself at the start line; strong, fit, capable, prepared, ready to go.
During the race - run the flat sections, walk the hills and run the downhills when safe to do so
Complete the long stage in one go.
Enjoy the rest day at the camp. Allow myself to enjoy the Coke Cola - even though I don’t drink the stuff (But I’ll make an exception in this case!)
Running my race - how I want to run it.
Not comparing myself with anyone else apart from me. (This is one of the reasons I’m not a member of the Facebook group! Too much comparison all of the time and too many people with different opinions. I haven’t found it a positive place to be. I’d visit and leave thinking I hadn’t done enough or wasn't prepared enough and it made me feel like, what I was doing - wasn’t enough!!!)
Doing MY best
Giving it MY all
Never giving up and having a can do attitude.
Keep smiling and remembering to appreciate how lucky I am to be part of a race like the MDS and remind myself often - this is a once in a lifetime experience.
Have fun!! Enjoy it!!!
Keep on top of my hydration and drinking all the water they give me.
Making my backpack as light as possible only taking the necessities - no - just in case objects
Picturing myself at the end of the race, crossing over the finish line, with my hands in the air. Feeling that glow of success as I complete the race. Seeing myself smiling and crying tears of joy. Feeling the weight of the medal as it goes over my head and around my neck. Hugging my tent mates as they cross the line. Celebrating our success and celebrating my own success.